Nationwide United Auto Workers strike cripples GM

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Screen capture … UAW strikers at a GM plant in Arlington, TX, Credit: WFAA 8 ABC

Nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) employees went on strike at midnight and set up picket lines at 55 General Motors facilities across the U.S.

The union failed to come to an agreement with the automaker on a new collective bargaining deal and declared the first strike against GM in 12 years. In 2007, a two-day walkout had no lasting impact on the company.

Talks will resume Monday morning.

Sunday evening, President Trump urged the parties to get it done, when he tweeted: “Here we go again with General Motors and the United Auto Workers. Get together and make a deal!”


GM has said that it presented a strong offer that “includes improved wages and health care benefits, over $7B in U.S. investments and 5,400 jobs.”

The UAW strike impacts 33 GM manufacturing sites and 22 parts warehouses in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, Texas, and many other states.

According to the Huffington Post:

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, the union’s top GM negotiator, said a strike is the union’s last resort but is needed because both sides are far apart in negotiating a new four-year contract. The union, he said Saturday, does not take a strike lightly.

“We clearly understand the hardship that it may cause,” he said. “We are standing up for fair wages, we are standing up for affordable quality health care, we are standing up for our share of the profits.”

GM, however, said it offered pay raises and $7 billion worth of U.S. factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. GM would not give a precise number. The company also said it offered higher profit sharing, “nationally leading” health benefits and an $8,000 payment to each worker upon ratification.

The length of time a strike might last is unclear. Kristin Dziczek, vice president of labor and industry at an industry think tank, the Center for Automotive Research, said that it “depends on how far apart they really are and where the lines in the sand are drawn.”

The UAW-GM contract expired Saturday night. The union chose to target General Motors while extending their contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler because GM is the most profitable and because of the company’s plan to close four factories. The aim is to use a strong negotiated deal with GM as a template for subsequent talks with the other two automakers.

If the strike lasts beyond a few days, for consumers it would eventually mean less selection on dealer lots and an inability to place special orders to build cars and trucks.


Video by Fox News

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Victor Rantala

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